Surprisingly it was just last year, that Chase Briscoe was volunteering his time at the Cunningham Motorsports shop, sweeping floors and learning as much as possible about the behind the scenes workings of an ARCA Racing Series team. He was there, because he had no sponsorship to race, and he wanted to stay in touch with racing.
Then Kerry Scherer and Briggs Cunningham gave him a shot behind the wheel, when a one-time sponsor stepped up with the money to field another car for the organization. That was at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis mid-season last year. In his debut ARCA Racing Series event, he started fifth and finished tenth.
That led to another start for the rookie driver from Mitchell, IN in September at Salem Speedway. Briscoe stepped up his game by finishing fifth in his second ARCA start.
After achieving early racing success, Briscoe was the youngest 410 cubic-inch sprint car winner in history, winning at Bloomington Speedway at age 13. He surpassed NASCAR super star Jeff Gordon as the youngest, who was 14 at the time of his win. Briscoe’s dad Kevin Briscoe is also an accomplished sprint car driver and USAC winner. The win was significant and when asked about his most memorable moment in racing…
“My first Sprint Car win at Bloomington Speedway. That track is where I spent every Friday night growing up, with it being my home track. I grew up watching my Dad win there, what felt like practically every week. When I was able to be the reason my family got to come to victory lane, it was just very special to me. I remember all the fans standing up and cheering, its just always been special to me anytime I have won there.”
In many ways it boggles the mind that Briscoe had no funding to race until Cunningham and Scherer gave him a chance last year. Without funding on his own, Briscoe is totally dependent on his skill behind the wheel to draw sponsors to get behind his passion for racing. His 2016 ARCA Racing Series season is exactly what any driver needs to keep their career moving forward.
Briscoe is now leading the series point standings with 4425 points, which is 495 points ahead of the second-place contender, Tom Hessert with Venturini Motorsports.
With Big Time on the hood of his No. 77 Ford, Briscoe once again visited Victory Lane at Chicagoland Speedway Thursday night marking his fifth win in 2016. Briscoe is also leading the SCOTT’s Rookie of the Year competition.
“I’m so proud of these guys on this Cunningham Motorsports team,” said Briscoe. “It’s unbelievable where I was last year at this time, and now, to be here is beyond incredible. Just Thanks to Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Scherer for this amazing opportunity. Chad (Bryant his crew chief) brings great race cars…it just makes it that much easier.”
To win the race, Briscoe overcame a pit road mishap when he overshot his pit stall and lost his track position. But despite that, he led 84 of 100 laps, also clinching the prestigious Bill France 4 Crown championship.
2016 has shown the extraordinary talent of a young driver looking to advance his career. Hopefully sponsors are taking note and will welcome the chance to get behind the kind of success Chase Briscoe has brought to racing this season.